Living In Interesting Times

Actually, this post isn’t going to be about Linux. I’m sure everybody has heard the proverb “may you live in interesting times”. Well, this last couple months, that’s how I’d describe what’s been going on with me. You won’t see much interesting showing up on the blog because while there has been a lot of interesting things going on in the Linux world, I haven’t had a lot of time to delve into it. Let’s start at the top.

Kaitlyn Elizabeth

Late last year, we found out that my wife and I were expecting our third child. We couldn’t have been more excited. Everything went great until 27 weeks, 6 days when my wife went into labor (for the first time).

For those of you that aren’t up on all the details of pregnancy, 40 weeks a pregnancy. A baby is considered “premature” up until they’re 37 weeks along. 28 weeks is very early.

We spent a couple nights in the hospital, and the doctors and nurses managed to stop the labor…. mostly. My wife was put on bed rest and given shower and bathroom privileges. She wasn’t to leave the bed for any other reason. She was started on medication to keep the labor at bay as well. Because she was on full bed rest, I got the job of taking care of our other two children (and Amy).

At 32 weeks, she couldn’t take the medication anymore because it could cause issues with the baby beyond that point. I think she made it a full day before going back into full swing labor.

This is a reoccurring pattern at this point. We were in the delivery room 6 or 7 different times over the next 5 weeks. We were sent home, and sometimes admitted. Amy spent a full week in the hospital at one point. It was really starting to take a toll on both Amy and I mentally and physically.

The real trick here was despite the fact that Amy was pretty much “in labor” this whole time, because the baby was premature the doctors were unwilling to “help things along”. Finally, 37 weeks arrived. Amy was in the hospital at the time, and the doctors finally agreed that the time had arrived. It didn’t take long before we had a healthy baby girl.


We were actually in the hospital after Amy had gone into labor at the 28 week mark when I got a call from my brother. My Dad had gone into the hospital for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI henceforth) and the doctors had detected Cancer cells in his bladder.

My Dad had a bout with Cancer several years ago in his Prostate, and it was thought to have been at least pushed to remission. These new Cancer cells implied otherwise. Of course there were tests, but Dad only opted for the non-intrusive ones. This November he’ll be turning 90, and he’s of the mind that this round of Cancer will either kill him quickly, or something else will. Don’t agree with him, and I think that he should be looking into his treatment options after he finds out what the source of these cells is, but it’s his call to make and not mine.


The news of my Dad’s Cancer had barely stopped echoing in my ears before I got another call. This time it was from my mother. Things had been… slipping for my mother for a while now. She was having a harder and harder time remembering things. She’d gone to several doctors and none of them found anything wrong with her.

Finally, she went to a neurologist who gave her the diagnosis. She has Alzheimer‘s.

It’s not terribly far along at this point, but it does create some serious issues, the largest of which is caring for my Dad.

See, while my Dad is going to be 90 this November, my Mom isn’t even 70 yet. Most days Mom doesn’t know what day it is, let alone if she’s completed basic tasks, like eating or taking medication. My brother and I have started calling her twice a day (morning and evening) to remind her to do both. We have to stay on the phone with her or else she’ll hang up the phone and get distracted by something and forget what she was doing. My Dad has never been one to complain, which is actually starting to be a problem. My Mom will forget that they haven’t eaten, and just not. Dad won’t say anything. This has been going on long enough that he’s lost over 60lbs.

Interesting Times

There’s not really an ending to this story. Not yet anyway. The proverb says “may you live in interesting times”, but “interesting” could mean so many things, both good and bad. The last couple months have brought me both in bulk. Interesting times? To say the least.


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